/ when we lay together and talked in low, silent voices"
      - Galway Kinnell, 2002

I've so wanted to get these pictures up ... but, you know ... after enjoying a full week of delicious laziness, things started to ramp up again at this amazing speed.  I'm on the chocolate river in a boat with Willy Wonka watching my life whiz by so quickly it's nauseating.  School, work, internship.  Another death of someone close by and another memorial service.  I was talking to one of my instructors about this and she started laughing and said, "My word, Lisa.  AND you're in an internship where life is like walking on a banana peel!"  It's true.  Any one of my clients could pass at any point - my youngest is 86 years old.  We're not indestructible human beings and our time does come.  But that's the subject of another post.  And that post will be entitled,"What these guys want you to know about growing old".    And I have about 3 sentences written so it might be awhile.

My, but I'm distracted today.

Before I awesomely started randomly talking about death, I mentioned that I wanted to get these lovelies up:

Shoes and I see each other about twice a month, but we talk to each other an average of 6 hours a week.  (I have to say, we really know how to talk to each other and we really know how to talk things out).  And when we get away, we get to experience that part of a relationship that normal couples have:  spending time in each other's presence - sometimes talking, sometimes not.   We spent 3 full days down there, vising all of our favorite places (we'd both been there before without each other):  the beach, 17 Mile Drive, Fisherman's Wharf, Carmel Mission, the Aquarium, The Mucky Duck and a new favorite for me:  Crown & Anchor.

We drank Chardonnay on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach.

We watched this incredible aqua water roll in and out and in and out at the beach.

We laughed so hard I (quite literally) almost experienced a moment of enuresis (or:  I almost peed my pants).

We took naps every day at 3:00.

And, at the end, we had to chain up - Shoes got a little greasy doing so.  Good thing we chained up ... the pavement was completely bare and dry. :S  A nice 3 hour addition to our already 12 hour drive home.

On our last day at the beach, Shoes admitted that it was a little crazy that he did not take the moment to ask a very serious question, and what could I do but agree?  ;)  I drew him a picture of the ring last July, my goodness.  We agreed that, in the end, it's ok, because we have a pretty darn good idea what the future holds for us.

So, onward fellow soldier.  The term awaits.
Woo!  And a poem at the end (of this post)!

Book:  "The Other Wes Moore" -- Wes Moore

Blurb From the Back:  "Two kids named Wes Moore were born blocks apart within a year of each other.  Both grew up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods and had difficult childhoods; both hung out on street corners with their crews; both ran into trouble with the police.  How, then, did one grow to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow and business leader, while the other ended up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence?"

Vote:  2 Yays, 1 Nay.  The Nay was mine.  The undertaking is really quite noble and Mr. Moore writes poignantly of his own life, his struggles, and the moments that started to shake up his paradigm and focus his attention elsewhere.  And while there's a vast amount of grace extended to the Other Wes Moore (sans judgement), it's also the other Wes Moore I felt was underdeveloped.  Granted, a person can only write about another person to a certain point, but I wanted to know more.  More Moore.  The situations were similar, but their lives had some fault lines that diverged fairly sharply.

One of the yays was from my dear, sweet friend who took her in-patient drug and alcohol recovery clients to a talk Wes Moore gave in Portland a few weeks ago.  She relayed that the talk was humbling -- the impact on the clients heartbreakingly stunning.  They left uplifted.  They left encouraged.  They left empowered.  Encouragement and empowerment can be pretty hard to come by.

So maybe I don't know everything. ;)

Next pick:  "The Help", Kathryn Stockett.  We've been waiting for this one to come out in paperback for a long time.

Now, The POEM!!

I've thought long and hard about sharing this, wondering about copyright laws and property rights and it's not my work  ....but I've read it so obsessively and so intimately in the past few days I think I may be addicted.  I repeat the lines to myself again and again ... I have no idea why I'm so enamored.

Actually, that's not true.  This poem is precisely, exactly, a perfect description of the moments I realized I wasn't having any more dark days after the divorce.

Galway Kinnell, 1980  
Crying only a little bit
is no use.  You must cry
until your pillow is soaked.
Then you can get up and laugh.
Then you can jump in the shower
and splash-splash-splash!
Then you can throw open your window
and , "Ha ha!  ha ha!"
And if people say, "Hey,
what's going on up there?"
"Ha ha!" sing back, "Happiness
was hiding in the last tear!
I wept it! Ha ha!"

(It's even better if you read it out loud.  I promise.) 

So splash-splash-splash, Mr. Kinnell.  I'm asking forgiveness rather than permission - thank you for these lines and that sneaky, sneaky near rhyme. You've always been one of my favorites (despite naming your poor child Fergus).
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick then -- open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may be already drifting away.
                       {Oliver, 2003}

Spring break comes soon ....

Shoes and I had initially talked about going out to Boston to see his "step"-sister and family ... and then up to DC to see his dear friend from kidhood ... or maybe down to Southern Cal to see his Aunt (who raises the Weimaraners ... swimming in her pool sounded like the ticket).  We talked a lot about this trip.  Dreamed a lot.  Wished a lot.  (Seriously.  We always talk a lot ...usually on the phone for 45 minutes in the evening.  I just realized this.  Good Lord, what do we *talk* about for that  long?  I don't even know.  It's a little too cute-sey for us.)

 We saw most of the family a few weeks ago for Jim's wake and decided maybe we would like to go somewhere a little closer and a little more private ... somewhere we could drive and not deal with airlines ...

Monterey / Carmel / Big Sur, you are the ticket and we will be so please to re-meet your acquaintance.   A little break from grieving.  A little break from geriatric psychotherapy (which I love ... it's just so ... existential ... all the time).  A little break from practice theories.  A little break from law classes I can't stand. For Shoes, a little break from the most bizarre run of gruesome juvenile cases and a little break from Eastern Washington Winter (we'll trade in the snow for fog / rain).

A little soul nurturing never hurt anybody ...
sucking at my guts until I was all
flamed surface
(Dove, 1989)

Take it.

GOOD NIGHT.  This term I took a class to fill my advanced policy requirement.  Specifically, it was Social Work 526.  Specifically, it was Social Work and the Law.

Lemme tell you something about Social Work and the Law.  I used to co-supervise a gosh darned Guardian Ad Litem Program and provided supervision to 15 well trained G.A.L.'s.  I LIKE the intersections of social work and legal issues.  Truthfully, I think they're fascinating.    With that background, and Shoes available for questions, I went in with a super amazing spirit and bubbly attitude.   I did that all the while ignoring the fact that I knew the course was going to be taught by one of the most disorganized, craziest, fly by the seat of the pants professors.  I thought, "Surely, because I know going in this is how he'll be, I'll be able to adjust my expectations and deal with it."

Nope!  Turns out I can't!

We read a ton of case law (which I read ALL of), wrote a legal brief (totally amazing use of my time with that one), sat through disjointed lectures ...   He arbitrarily cancelled the reading of one our required texts because he thought, on second thought, people might be offended by the content.  He made no sense last week and by the time I left class I was so super confused about what readings needed to be done, as well as when our final was due.  So I emailed him.  TWICE.  And he didn't respond either time.

In case you're curious, our final is a take home final.  It's 3 pages front and back, single spaced.  I started reading the questions when he handed them out and started to get super, super irritated because I knew that half of the information he glossed over and the other half he didn't cover at all.  Until I got to the last page ... and found that he had purposefully given us the answers.  On an answer sheet.  Verbatim.

I know, I know.  I should be grateful, right?  But is THIS what I'm spending my OUT OF STATE GRADUATION tuition on?

Oy Vey.
What did I learn?
Nothing.  Except for, you know, the basic liability stuff.  Don't sleep with clients.  Don't blab their business to everybody.  And the brief that has to be filed for the Supreme Court to hear your case is the Petition for Writ of Certiorari.   
Am I ever taking a class from him again?
I think no.

I was the last one done with my course evaluations. 

I am a flamed surface.